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When I get time, I read or listen to music. If any is left, I blog!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

How far is Niagara from Mullaperiyar?

June 30 1859

A crowd of over 25,000 people is assembled on both banks of the Niagara River to witness a historic event. The mood is skeptical. There is heavy fog, and the wind keeps blowing at 80 kmph. Unmindful, the legendary acrobat Charles Blondin sets off to walk on a tightrope 1200 feet long and two inches in diameter, stretched across the gorge. It takes him 23 minutes to complete the to and fro journey.

Brandishing the balancing pole, Blondin asks, 'Do you now believe I can do it?' The crowd roars, 'Yes.' He continues, 'Do you believe I can do it again?' The crowd roars louder, 'Yes.'

This time, Blondin walks the tightrope without the balancing pole. The crowd cheers. He then walks blindfolded, walks backwards, walks on stilts... The crowd turns delirious.

Blondin asks, 'Do you believe I can carry a person across the gorge on my back?' They shout, 'Yes. You can do it, Blondin. We believe you.'

Blondin says, 'Okay. I will carry one of you across the gorge? Who will be my partner?' The crowd falls silent. No one volunteers. They all believe in his abilities, but not so much as to entrust him with their lives!

Faith apart, there is another aspect to this event. The Niagara River straddles the international border between the US (New York) and Canada (Ontario). Both countries share this resource with perfect reason and responsibility. Together, they also operate a hydroelectric station to harness the power of the Niagara Falls.

The 117 year old Mullaperiyar dam is situated in Kerala, but controlled by the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu under a 999 year lease agreement signed during the British rule that qualifies it to draw the river water for irrigation. Today, the dam lies submerged in a sea of life-threatening disputes!

Look at the irony! Two countries together build and operate a power station to light up a million homes. But, two states in the same country are lighting up a fire of hatred in a million hearts!

 "A nation is the same people breathing the same air,  
drinking the same water, and living the same life."

3 comments:

  1. In Mullaperiyar issue it is the vested interests which plays this mischief. Vested interests in Kerala rather. In Kerala encroachment of forest and other government land is rampant. It may be so in other states also. There these people grow ganja and other illegal crops. Idukki district is the main area in Kerala where ganja is cultivated. If the water level in the present dam is raised many hectares of these areas will submerge and a good amount of land used for illegal purpose will be lost. In this loot many political heavy weights and others are there. It is they who scare the people of the dam bursting and sweeping out all the land and other things to the Arabian Sea.

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  2. 999 years lease? I am sure it was a colonial trick played by the British! The modern day politicians found a perfect stick in it to beat the common man.
    God save this country.

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  3. It would be so nice if we do the same!

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